Dollars and Sense: Good management needs commitment

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

In today&8217;s hyper-competitive global business environment, successful organizations typically have a refined process that identifies top performers and those with potential to be top performers.

These enlightened organizations, which are frankly in the minority, understand that managing talent must be an integral part of every leader&8217;s job. Amazingly, many companies both large and small continue to operate with no defined talent management strategy.

In today&8217;s business vocabulary, top performing employees are referred to as &8220;A players.&8221; In his book, Topgrading, Dr. Brad Smart defines an A player as: &8220;One who qualifies among the top 10 percent of those available for a position.&8221;

Available for a position means the person is willing to accept the position based on its merits (the compensation offered, performance expected, job location, and other similar factors).

A players consistently perform at an &8220;exceeds expectations&8221; level. Ten to 20 percent of a typical company&8217;s employees are A players. Talent focused organizations strive to have a workforce with at least 75 percent A players.

&8220;B players&8221; usually comprises 60 to 80 percent of a typical company&8217;s employees. These employees consistently perform at a &8220;meets expectations&8221; level. A small percentage (under 20 percent) of B&8217;s can develop into A players but the majority lacks the talent required to achieve A player status. Think of B players as being solid, but not spectacular performers.

The bottom level of employees, 10 to 20 percent of a typical organization, are identified as &8220;C players.&8221; These employees perform inconsistently and routinely fail to meet performance expectations. Far too many organizations fail to address the performance deficiencies of their C players and suffer the negative conquenses of allowing C players to comprise a far too large percentage of their work force.

Start today evaluating your staff using the aforementioned criteria for A, B and C players. If you perform an honest and thorough evaluation, you are very likely to discover that your staff has way too many B and C players and not nearly enough A players. As a leader, can you afford to ignore this dilemma?